Tag Archives: Memorial Day

Memorial Day: A Pacifist Perspective

memorial day peace

One of the most important values to pacifists is the gift of memory and the act of remembering properly. If you try to tell me the history of Memorial Day, and it starts with World War II, you will get nothing but eyerolls from me.

l c eyeroll

As Brian LePort put it aptly,

“Humans can be imperfect, yet worthy of honor. War can be something we recognize as horrible without dishonoring the participants.”

Honoring The Fallen, Lamenting War

Remembering appropriately is crucial to the process of lament. In American society, there is a huge problem with avoiding lament and sorrow. There is this fear that if we start looking at the non-cheery side of American history, World history, or the history of war, we may have to actually change the way we behave, that we’ll have to actually think twice before sending young women and men overseas or dropping drones down on Yemeni and Pakistani families.

Likewise, with the whitewashing of U.S. American History, comes violence, and in particular the system of death that Jane and Jim Crow segregation wrought:

“As the U.S. Civil War came to a close in April 1865, Union troops entered the city of Charleston, S.C., where four years prior the war had begun. While white residents had largely fled the city, Black residents of Charleston remained to celebrate and welcome the troops, who included the TwentyFirst Colored Infantry. Their celebration on May 1, 1865, the first “Decoration Day,” later became Memorial Day.”

Ben Becker, The African American Roots of Memorial Day

We want a Memorial Day without politics. A Memorial Day without truth or history. We want a Memorial Day for the sake of hegemony and empire. A False Memory Day, built on lies.